Oct 11, 2010 11:09am
Re: 500,000 community audio items
My taping career began on June 9 & 10, 1973. That was recording Grateful Dead playing with the Allman Brothers Band at RFK Stadium. By 1974, I was also taping bluegrass, newgrass, and other venues. I became a soundman in 1975, and I toured with three bluegrass bands: Country Comfort, Bluegrass Alliance, and Lazy River. After that, we never kept in touch over the years. I got into electronics. Then I did electronics maintenance on equipment and systems in pro video and pro audio for television systems, production houses, broadcasters, and cable TV.
37 years ago I developed a stealthy taping kit that was pretty reliable for making it past any and all security details back then. I had a cheap guitar with the back removed from it. The guitar body fit perfectly over my tape deck. I carried this taping kit around in a professional guitar case. I successfully snuck into dozens of clubs and venues with this rig. I would insist that "I was a musician," and I couldn't leave my axe outside in my car. I was too lazy to install a counter-weight in the guitar case to offset the weight of my tape deck. The security detail at Carnegie Hall busted me one night in 1974. They noticed the unnatural slant of my guitar case when I entered. An hour later, they came into my booth and caught me red-handed taping secretly. My tape was confiscated, and I was escorted out the front door. This is the only time I was caught taping. A huge Hell's Angels security dude confiscated my tape once, at the end of a Grateful Dead concert, on July 31, 1973, at Roosevelt Stadium. I had my mic on a 10-foot pole - sticking out like a sore thumb. My friend went backstage with the Hell's Angels and retrieved my tape from the Dead. I was only nailed these 2 times.
Looking back, I'm thinking to myself right now, there must have been DOZENS of tapers doing the same things as me. Where the heck are they? Where are their trade-friendly tapes, that is? Sales were skyrocketing by 1973 and beyond for numerous high-end portable cassette tape recorder models. My documentation on here discusses this fact in detail. To me, it appears we only have 10% of what's out there from the days of old. Why?
During the past three years I have contacted some of these musicians with whom I worked as soundman. I also attempted contacting numerous other musicians and artists whom I taped. At least a dozen of them have passed away. I was seeking permission to circulate my tapes of their live music recordings. This has proven to be extremely difficult for me. Sometimes, I think plenty of older musicians have no idea what's going on here. On the other hand, I think most of them would love to be represented here for posterity. Please consider helping us bridge this particular gap. Explaining to older musicians (or their guardians), whom you do not know personally, about what delineates the difference between commercial projects and my "live music recordings" of them, is not as simple or as easy as it appears. Maybe, it's just me?
I apologize to everyone if I may have bent a few rules in the process. Plenty of us appear to be breaking new ground as we are proceeding along here -- without any written script to work from. The only benchmark(s) I see are other peoples' examples here on The Archive. I am speaking as an Admin for all my Audio Items here. Nearly every decision I made when I put stuff here was made on the basis of observing what others were doing here. Some items here are very heavily peer-reviewed. Grateful Dead music, for example.
I am only circulating my trade-friendly-band tapes - ONLY shows for which I am the sole source. So far, I have circulated tapes for 17 shows I recorded. Most of them are soundboard recordings. With one exception, all my audience recordings were made from an ideally located front-of-board sweet spot. Except for one 26-year-old recording, these shows are more than 30 years old. Scores of my tapes are in other peoples' hands, and I don't have these tapes anymore. Why so many shrewd music collectors continue to hold back on trade-friendly vintage recordings of incredible live music is beyond me. What I have done here these past 3 years is to set the opposite example. I pushed the live-music-sharing envelope slightly.
I invested some extra time when I archived my recordings in your Audio Collections. The Admin privileges we are granted here are outstanding! I added stuff about the bands I taped: some photos, Zipped collections, music collections, links to YouTube clips - including the FLV files, some historical comments, technical information, documentation detailing their sound systems, and several firsthand accounts of things that I witnessed. In short, I filled in some empty gaps to create better historical context for my items. Does this mean I'm a hippie digital archivist?
Each of my recordings is also torrented using an eTree tracker. The torrent URLs are included with each of my Audio Items on The Archive.
If I didn't feel like I could do all of this stuff here without hassles, and, FREE OF CHARGE, I would have kept it on a commercial web server and paid for their web hosting services. In fact, I did do this first, before I knew how to do ALL of this stuff here. I'm dumping my web server account when my lease expires. This posting is my way of again saying: Thank You very much to The Internet Archive, eTree.org, all the volunteers and staff, all the tapers, and everyone upgrading live music recordings which circulate publicly. And thank you Lossless Legs.
The Archive's home page for my tapes
Monte Barry - my online technical profile
DesignsByMonte web site